"The Philistines fought against Israel, and Israel's men fled from them. Many were killed on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons and killed his sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua." 1 Samuel 31:1-3.
Israel's wicked King Saul met his end on Mount Gilboa at the hands of the Philistines, as did his three sons. Saul committed suicide (which by implication is forbidden by the Sixth Commandment), because he didn't want to be tortured by the enemy. All these deaths were occasioned by war.
But the meaning of the deaths differs from man to man. We don't know anything about Abinadab and Malchishua. But we do know that Jonathan was a man of honor, a young man who feared the Lord and did good. Jonathan died a brave patriot, and he died honoring his unworthy father Saul. Instead of abandoning his father, Jonathan stayed with him. Because of his faith (of which we can read many examples of in the book of 1st Samuel), we know that Jonathan's righteous spirit went to Paradise. So, the circumstance of Jonathan's death was God's means to gather him to his eternal reward.
Saul, on the other hand, died as a manifestation of God's wrath. He consulted a witch, because, after Saul's long history of rebellion, the Lord no longer spoke to him or gave him any guidance (1 Samuel 28:5-7). God shocked the witch by actually bringing up the spirit of Samuel. Samuel prophesied the death of Saul and Saul's sons, as punishment on Saul for his disobedience (1 Samuel 28:18). As always, Saul reacted like a fool, but even though he was terrified he did not ask God for forgiveness, which he should have done (1 Samuel 28:20-23).
Sometimes the same bad thing happens to more than one person at a time. The destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11 killed thousands of people. The airplane on which Todd Beamer fought the terrorists went down, and everyone on board was killed. Some went to heaven, and others went to hell, even though they all died at the same time and in the same way.
God ordained Hurricane Katrina to destroy New Orleans, and many died. For those among them who were God's children, it was the day of their home-gathering. For those who lived their lives in conscious rebellion against God, it was the day under which they fell to God's awesome judgment.
God does not line people up like so many bowling pins, just to line 'em up and knock 'em down. God knows each person by name. Even when the same dire circumstance befalls a group, God has a different intention for each person affected by the troubles. For one, it might be God's method of spiritually turning the person around, so they might be saved for eternity. For a second, it might be a new direction in life. For a third, it might be a discipline for sin. For a fourth and a fifth, it might be the end of their God-appointed time on the earth.
So we should be careful about rashly forming opinions about why some disaster struck. Rather than decide that people to whom disasters happen must be greater sinners than anyone else, let me remember that I must live life in repentance and stay close to the Lord.